Xiamen University is worth visiting if you are interested in university life in China or strolling in beautiful park-like grounds. This university is the best in Xiamen and one of the best in China; super-modern, with sea views and unique foreign influence from its founding.
- Chinese: 厦门大学 Xiàmén Dàxué /sshya-mnn daa-sshwair/, also called 厦大 Xià Dà /sshya-daa/
- Suggested visit: 2–3 hours (around a mealtime for cheap local food)
University Background and Reputation
Xiamen University is the first university founded in China by a person living overseas of Chinese ancestry. Established in 1921 by Tan Kah-Kee (陈嘉庚) of Malaysia, the university is mix of Western and Eastern philosophies, which is reflected in the spectacular entrance gates adorning several sides of the campus.
Officially named Xiamen University, but widely known as Xia Da, with more than 28,000 students and a faculty of more than 4,600 members, the university strives to live up to its Chinese motto, 自强不息, 止于至善, which translates to "Pursue Excellence, Strive for Perfection".
The Best Time for a Visit
- March–May, September–November
The campus is open year-round, but spring is an excellent time to visit, as the campus is bejeweled with thousands of flowers blossoming. In autumn, the brightly colored foliage of the many trees dotting the campus is a major attraction.
Beautiful Buildings and Surroundings
The gorgeous buildings in the campus offer unparalleled views of the East China Sea towards Taiwan. You will enjoy marveling at the gorgeous architecture, beautiful natural setting, and unparalleled views of the sea.
Jiageng Building Complex
Jiageng Building Complex (嘉庚楼群), composed of 5 buildings, features Western architecture. A magnificent tall building fronts a gorgeous reflection pool, making it seem as though the complex is floating in the sky. It was built by teachers and students of the Architecture and Civil Engineering Department, and is the landmark of the university. Kaisi Building (凯思楼) is its most spectacular building, with the school motto written on its wall.
Lotus Lake (芙蓉湖) is in the center of the campus, just in front of Jiageng Building Complex. It has clean water and weeping willows on its banks. This is a nice place for lovers. You can always see students sitting beside the lake or walking around it.
Jiannan Auditorium (建南楼群) was built by Li Guangqian, the son-in-law of Tan Kah-kee. Built as a mix of traditional Chinese architecture combined with classic Greek idea of the amphitheater, Jiannan Auditorium is able to amply accommodate thousands of spectators for lectures, concerts, and other entertainment activities.
The library has more than 3.5 million books and documents in its collection, and is home to one of the highest-speed internet networks in all of China. The main library is housed inside a gorgeous red and white building on Zhangzhou campus, it's modern and futuristic, looking almost like something out of a science fiction movie, and is likewise equipped with unparalleled research facilities.
- Location: 422 Simingnan Road, Siming District 思明区思明南路422号
- Opening times for Siming Campus: Mondays–Fridays, 12–2pm (limited to 700 visitors for Danan ('Big South') Gate and 300 for Qunxian Gate); 5pm–12am (no limit to the number of visitors); all day normally on weekends, public holidays, and university summer and winter holidays
- Transport: bus 1, 15, 21, 45, 751, 841, or 959 to Xiada (厦大)
What/Where to Eat
There are many crowded canteens near the university, where you can try the locally popular fish balls (鱼丸). The stores might not be as luxurious as star-rated restaurants, but the taste is really good.
Try lunch and dinner in the university's top dining hall (Lotus Restaurant, 芙蓉餐厅). The first and second floors are for students; the third floor is open for tourists. You need to buy a card and top-up 100 yuan. The food is cheap in the dining hall, and the rest of the money can be refunded. It can be sweltering and noisy in the dining halls.
Making a Campus Tour
At present, there are no guided tours available for Xiamen University. But, due to the large number of foreign faculty and students from overseas, it is usually easy to find a friendly local on campus who can help point out the best sites to see.
Be sure to bring a camera with you, as you will want to record ample evidence of the amazing architecture and beautifully green campus set against an ocean backdrop. Souvenirs and university-branded apparel are available at shops found throughout the campus.
Recommended Xiamen Tours
If you are planning a Xiamen tour, please see our popular tours below for inspirations:
- 3-Day Xiamen Essence and In-Depth Fujian Tulou Tour - Relaxed Weekend Tour
- 5-Day Xiamen, Tulou and Wuyi Mountain Tour - Cultural and Scenic Tour
Not interested in the above tours? Our tours can be tailor-made. Just tell us your interests and requirements, and we will create a perfect Xiamen tour for you.
- Nanputuo Temple - the oldest Buddhist religious center in the region
- Zhongshan Road - shops, food sellers, and great places to sit and enjoy the vibrant nightlife
- Shapowei Art Zone - enjoy a hub for local artists and entrepreneurs, with many exciting
things to do, foods to eat, and sights to see